Blog | Entrepreneurship

8 Things Confident Women Do Differently

We all know that one woman who wows everyone—take a page out of her lesson book

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As a female businesswoman, I can tell you that stepping out there and going after your financial dreams is not for the faint of heart. It requires daring, chutzpah, guts, strength of character and, above all else, the ability to laugh (sometimes at yourself).

In other words, it takes a massive amount of confidence. Let’s face it: If you believe in your own skills and ability to succeed, you’re more likely to take action on things that might seem scary — like embarking on a new path, working toward financial freedom and investing in your future. Those who aren’t confident stay stuck in a place they don’t like and accept the fact that nothing will ever change because they are too wrapped up in their fear.

The pros and cons of fear

Before we dive into the eight traits confident women possess, let’s briefly chat about the one trait every woman — and man! — has in common: fear! It’s often thought of as a four-letter word, but it doesn’t have to carry such a negative connotation.

Fear has its upside. Fear alerts us to possible life-threatening situations. You may feel fear when you hear a strange noise late at night. Thinking someone may have broken into your house, you immediately take any necessary action. Fear may set in when you find yourself walking alone through an unlit park at night, so you quickly find the safest route out. If you’re driving in a monsoon, fear will give you the sense to pull off to the side of the road until the storm subsides.

When it comes to business or investing, a touch of fear can keep us on our toes and sometimes help us avoid costly mistakes. It can motivate us to do a little more research or make a more conservative decision when we’re out of our element.

But there is also a destructive side to fear. It can also be a killer —a killer of dreams, of opportunities, of our own personal growth and passion, of living our life to its absolute fullest. The harmful face of fear is when it paralyzes us and we stay stuck. We say, “No,” to the opportunity automatically, without even thinking. All we can see are the things that will go wrong. When this happens, we spew out all the reasons why the investment is a bad, risky, and unwise venture to undertake. The fear of making mistakes, of losing money, and of personal disappointment wins.

So, just know that everyone walking this earth has some level of fear inside them, and that’s perfectly normal. It’s how you handle that fear that sets you apart from everyone else. When you feel the familiar feelings of fear bubbling up inside of you, stop and examine them. Take caution if needed. But don’t let fear become an excuse that prevents you from moving forward. You’re never going to fully eliminate fear from your life, but instead your goal should be to learn how to manage your fear so that you can take the next step on your path.

Habits of confident women

Now that we know fear is perfectly normal and is never going away completely, let’s explore the common traits I’ve observed in confident women time and time again. You know the saying “fake it til you make it?” If you start by adopting even just one of the following traits, it will create a domino effect that leads to the others—and soon you won’t be faking it at all!

  1. Being true to herself

    As women, we get so caught up playing so many roles for so many people in our lives, that we often lose track of who we really are and what we want. How do you know when you are being true to you? You can tell because the magic happens. Things just seem to flow effortlessly. You are suddenly “in the right place at the right time” and enjoying life. When you make choices that resonate with your values, talents, instincts and passion, you’re on the right path and that’s incredibly empowering. That’s when you’re living your truth.

  2. Savoring alone time

    Confident women know that time spent alone, doing activities they love, is time well spent. Whether it’s going to the movies, taking a bubble bath, going for a jog or meditating, quiet moments spent doing positive activities help you stay true to your purpose. You have my permission to make yourself a priority.

  3. Not taking things personally

    A confident woman knows that business is business, and sometimes that territory comes with criticism, missed opportunities or failure. Oftentimes, you cannot control a situation—such as missing the mark during a presentation—but you can always control how you choose to react to it. Instead of feeling a blow to your ego, choose to love yourself and forgive yourself. And move forward.

  4. Practicing positive rituals

    If you’ve found a ritual that helps keep you calm before a stressful situation or gets you revved up before a big moment, stick with it. For instance, I journal when I’m looking for an answer. It’s a type of meditation for me. I may have a question I’m struggling with or something I’m upset about. So I open my journal, state the issue in writing and then just write. I don’t allow myself to analyze, question or filter what I write. I just write down every thought that pops into my mind. And then I keep writing until I get the answer. For me, it works every time.

  5. Asking empowering questions

    Asking questions isn’t a sign of weakness — in fact, I’d argue thinking you know everything is. But the kinds of questions you’re asking is what showcases confidence. For instance, instead of asking disempowering questions like, “Why does this always happen to me?” ask, “What can I feel grateful for?” That shift in mindset allows for the confidence required to solve the problem.

  6. Saying no

    Isn’t it interesting how hard it can be to say this two-letter word? But not to confident women—they not only realize that saying no is healthy, but also they have the self-esteem to firmly say so. When it’s time to say no, confident people avoid ambiguous phrases like “I’ll have to get back to you” or “I’m not sure” to try and appease the requestor. They confidently say no because it allows them to focus on honoring their existing commitments, which, in turn, gives them the opportunity to successfully fulfill them.

  7. Knowing her strengths and weaknesses

    Self-awareness is one of the most important attributes one can achieve — because once you admit and accept your strengths and weaknesses, you can use that information to your advantage.

    Let’s say you know you’re more of a visual learner. Well, attending a seminar where someone is just standing there lecturing isn’t going to be of benefit to your understanding of the subject matter — and may even leave you feeling like a failure for not grasping the information as easily as everyone else in that lecture hall. What a waste of time and energy! It’s not that you aren’t smart enough to learn the info, you just learn in a different way.

    Instead, seek out the same material, but taught in a more visual way. Perhaps it’s an online course that offers charts, vidoes and checklists that you work your way through instead. Now you’ve set yourself up for success because you’ve been honest with yourself about what works for you and what doesn’t.

  8. She helps her sisters

    Too many people in this world live in fear that there’s only a certain amount of success to go around — so you’d better grab what’s yours and to hell with everyone else.

    Not so.

    We live in a world of abundance and there’s plenty to go around. There’s power in the pack, so to speak. Women raising up and helping other women helps everyone. In fact, according to research in the Harvard Business Review, women who also have a network of close female contacts are more likely to secure executive positions with greater authority and higher pay. Don’t look at other women as your adversaries or someone you need to “beat.” Create your own girls club and lean on each other to rise to the top together.

If you put these eight habits into practice, your newfound confidence will shift the way others see you, but more importantly it will shift the way you see yourself. Confidence is contagious—each confident action you take will lead to another—and that’s when the magic happens.

Original publish date: September 28, 2017

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